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- this is disappointing. again. maybe someday we'll figure out the magic formula that gets you to work here. - well, formulas are my formula for moolah. - [laughing] ted, get in here! ben's quitting again, but you gotta hear what he said. - leslie's been saying for weeks i should do something i love, and she's right. and i'll help tom or maybe try to do that tv thing or maybe work for the sweetums foundation. i don't know. life is short. why be an accountant, you know? i mean, other than the stability and the health plan and the above-average pay. oh, god, this better work out. tonight on "rock center,"
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we'll go inside the four-star lifestyle in light of the petraeus scandal. we'll look at the privileges and also harry smith reports on one of the only people to go to jail for the financial crisis. he's not a big shop banker, just a marathoner who made the same mistake others did trying to get a mortgage, except he uncovered a federal agent wearing a wire. >> i opened the door and there is this very attractive brunette standing there. also the master bomb maker. tonight richard engle tracks a terrorist that may be the most dangerous bomber in the world. it's a story that may better explain why airport security is the way it is in our country.
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and natalie morales volunteers for an experiment. >> you're going to put me through some pain, i understand? >> in a radically new therapy to treat chronic pain. and she discovers a remarkable love story along the way. >> he kind of started to joke around with me a little bit. and the folks from c campbell's try to sell some very special soup to a very special group of americans as "rock center" gets under way. good evening and welcome to "rock center." this past election season, the issue of fairness in all its various forms was front and center. the gulf between rich and poor, especially, and it continues as we talk about tax cuts and this fiscal cliff. but the man we're going to meet here first tonight has come to symbolize unfairness when it comes to the collapse of the housing market that, that after all, started america's economic meltdown. in the movies he would be portrayed as the little guy crushed by the system while the
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fat cats get away scot free. while what you're about to see is true, it starts bhart thoners. >> harry loves running. he loves putting one foot in front of the other to see how far he can go. a feeling he savors because harry just spent a year and a half in prison. our cameras were there the first day he was released from the halfway house. his two sons met him. >> i couldn't have done it without you, guys. >> i love you, dad. >> i love you, too. >> charlie engle went to prison for his role in the financial crisis. but he didn't work here on wall street, he was not a big time banker. he was accused of doing something likely hundreds of thousands of americans did during the housing boom. he exaggerated his income on his mortgage applications. charlie found real estate a good place to make money. >> the housing market was booming for everyone.
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>> the bubble just got bigger and bigger. >> it did. there was no end, right? >> reporter: the story of how charlie engle ended up in prison began when he and some friends decided to go for a run. a very long run. >> reporter: how many miles? >> the run a crass the sahara ended up being a little ever 4,600 miles. >> reporter: the run would be both an adventure and a means to raise money and awareness for clean water projects in north africa. accompanied by a film crew, the journey was turned into a documentary narrate bid matt damon. "running the sahara" appeared on 2008. that's charlie on the left. he was even on jay leno. all told, charlie engle was famous for about five minutes, long enough to catch the attention of this man with the
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box of files in this fuzzy photo. agent orlander from the irs. >> agent orlander saw the movie, and from the accounts we read, he said, i wonder how this charlie guy maintains this lifestyle. who has the time and wherewithall to run across a continent? where is his income? >> i laugh at lithe lifestyle wd because i'm living in a rented apartment and driving an '86 suburban. >> reporter: agent orlander spent 1700 hours investigating charlie. he even went through charlie's trash looking for evidence. charlie was kept under surveillance here at his apartment building. still not satisfied, the irs brought in a secret weapon, a beautiful young agent, a runner, came knocking on charlie's door.
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>> i open the door and there's this very attractive brunette standing there, and she says that she's interested in the building, in buying a condo in this building. >> reporter: what engle didn't know was the attractive runner who introduced herself as ellen bradshaw was wearing a hidden microphone. >> do you want to go get a cup of coffee? >> reporter: so you started chatting, and did you find you had some interests in common? >> absolutely. just looking at her, she was athletic, you could tell. >> reporter: did you ask her out or did you go on a date? >> she actually asked if i wanted to have lunch the next day, and i thought that was great. >> reporter: when you're getting ready to go to this lunch, what were you thinking about? >> there's no doubt that i'm curious about this woman. >> reporter: what did you talk about? >> by two-thirds of the way through the lunch, most of her questions, looking back now, were almost like of a financial nature.
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>> do you do any investing at all? >> well, i certainly have in the past. >> reporter: engle told bradshaw he had taken out a couple of mortgages. >> i had a couple loans out there with my mortgage broker who didn't mind writing down that i was making 400 grand a year when he knew i wasn't. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: unwittingly, charlie had just dropped a bomb in agent orlanders lap. several years ago, he had taken liar loans on two investment properties. they were called liar loans because a lender didn't have to verify a buyer's assets or income. during the housing boom, several of the mortgages written in the united states were liar loans worth an estimated $300 billion. >> the big banks paid those brokers more money for a liar loan than they would for a fully documented prime loan with full documentation and down payments because they could get more money for them because they
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would charge that borrower more interest. >> reporter: neal barofsky was the inspector general for t.a.r.p., the bailout for the banks. specializing in moral fraud, he specified that the banks were doing mortgage frauds. buying them and selling them at enormous profit. >> whether they can pay them off in a couple years really doesn't matter to you when you're just bundling them up and selling them. >> reporter: until the housing market began to collapse. that's when they began to default on their loans. the ceos of the banks were hauled sbooin front of a congressional committee and chastised for these liar loans. the buyers got bailouts for millions.
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meanwhile, the government was about to drop the hammer on charlie for what he said to bradshaw and/ orlander at lunch during that meeting. >> reporter: did you say i hope i see you again? >> absolutely. what's funny is after that lunch t all ended pretty quickly. >> reporter: the attorney's office was conducting its own investigation. in the end, charlie was indicted for mortgage fraud, and in case you didn't know, lying on a mortgage application is against the law. people will see this and say, he was just another one of those guys rolling the dice, trying to make a buck. you were gambling. >> a lot of people were doing that. >> reporter: engle says he did not write down the income figure on his loans, but he admits he signed the closing documents. >> reporter: did you look at the fine print? did you know what you were signing?
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>> no. but the fact is, that's not uncommon, either. >> reporter: to this day, charlie insists he didn't lie. but a jury didn't buy it, and the tape sure didn't help his case. >> i had a couple good liar loans out there. >> i did have liar loans, but i'm not the one who told the lies. >> reporter: who told the lies? >> the brokers, the banks, the people who -- as a borrower, we all know we're not in charge of the process. >> reporter: charlie was convicted in large part because of the testimony of the mortgage broker on one of his loans who, along with charlie's loan officer and the seller of the property, all pled guilty to conspiring to sell several banks a fraud mortgage. >> he's already pled guilty to mortgage fraud, to all these things. he forged his parents'
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signatures on loan applications. >> reporter: and the government is using this guy to testify. >> exactly. he ended up getting 20 years in prison while i got 21. >> reporter: he sent a statement saying, mr. engle was convicted by a jury of fraudulently obtaining more than $1 million in four mortgage loans. that same office also fostered a case of more than $2.9 billion. somehow, those banks so hungry for those liar loans, by and large escaped criminal prosecution. >> reporter: what surprises me as somebody who has kept a pretty close eye on this over the last dozen years how people at the top of the food chain had to take a fall or been prosecuted or that the government even tried to go after them. why is that? >> you know, that is the $64,000 question. i think if you were to ask the folks in washington, they will tell you that there is a lot of behavior that while it was unethical and perhaps morally
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suspect didn't rise to the level of criminal conduct. >> reporter: is it sometimes just easier to go to the guy who is on the bottom of the food chain? >> it's certainly a lot easier, but that doesn't make it right. and it doesn't really accomplish the broader goals that you want from your department of justice in the aftermath of a crisis, and that's to make it very clear that if you break the law, if you do this type of unethical behavior that you will be held accountable. and all the charlie engles in the world rotting in jail aren't going to accomplish that goal. >> it may not surprise you to learn that charlie engle is petitioning for a new trial hoping to overturn his conviction. charlie still owes the banks $250,000 in restitution. up next here tonight, on the trail of the man u.s. officials call the largest single threat to america. and later, the pitfalls of four stars. life at the top of the military, according to those who have been there.
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welcome back. and perhaps the simplest way to introduce this next story is this. the next time you're at the airport and you feel yourself perhaps getting frustrated and having to remove your shoes, think of this story, and it may make a lot more sense.
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same goes for the ban on boarding an aircraft while carrying liquids. tonight we report on the world's master bomb maker, perhaps the most dangerous single individual threat to the united states, a man who specializes in planting explosives on aircraft bound for america. richard engle set out on his trail on a dangerous journey to an al qaeda stronghold where the effort to protect american lives is risking making even more enemies. ♪ >> reporter: if you're looking for the man u.s. officials describe as the world's most dangerous, you need to come here to the tip of arabia to a place where men wear daggers in their belts, where carts are drawn by camels and the capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. this place is yemen. ♪ >> reporter: and somewhere in
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this enchanted country, ibrahim asyria is hiding. he's the top bomb maker who has become the al qaeda of the arabian peninsula. the group is now the most active terrorist organization targeting the united states. >> this is an individual who dedicated his life to putting together bombs that can kill americans. >> reporter: we spoke with author gregory johnson in the old city of sunna, yemen's capital. his latest book is on al qaeda and asyri who, he says, spends his days building what asyri would consider the perfect bomb. >> it has to be strong enough to get through western security, and b, it has to be strong enough to bring an airliner down to crash it. >> reporter: asyra has already come close.
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he used one to bring down a flight on christmas day in 2009. and the next year he shipped more bombs to chicago hidden in printer cartridges. in both cases, even though the plots ultimately failed, the explosives made it all the way through airport security. >> each bomb that ibrahim puts together is better than the last one. >> reporter: al qaeda is proud of asyri's work. the group's on-line videos show how he once fit a bomb into a tape cassette case. another, he molded into the back of a picture frame. both of those bombs killed their targets, a city official and korean tourists. but what motivates him? asyri who grew up in saudi arabia joined al qaeda because he was outraged as iraq and abu
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grabe. he turned so ruthless, he even turned his little brother sabela into a serial bomber. al qaeda documented the operation. here abdullah is saying a last goodbye to his big brother as he heads off with his underwear bomb to blow himself up next to the saudi prince. >> the bomb blast went almost directly upward, so it blew a hole in the roof. >> blew a hole in the roof? >> it's a very powerful bomb. >> reporter: amazingly, the explosion directly in front of the prince didn't kill him, but the attempted assassination made stopping asyri an even higher priority of the united states and its allies. the place they think they're most likely to find him is yemen's deep south, so we decided to go there. we left sunna and headed for the
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province of abian. the dark areas of our map are mostly ungoverned, where nobody is in charge. to ensure our safety, the yemeni government supplied us with an escort. foreigners need permission to come to this part of the country. it remains a dangerous place. in fact, until recently, al qaeda, and most likely asyri, actually ran things here. while almost no one in the world knew about it, for a year, al qaeda and its ally established a mini state in this part of yemen, and this building was its headquarters and main courtroom. in these rooms, al qaeda judges dispensed summary justice according to their strictest interpretation of islamic law. this young man was punished for nothing more than stealing electrical wires from utility poles. can i see what happened to you? so it was cut off here.
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and how did they do it? with a little knife. they did it with a little knife. the horrors of al qaeda justice didn't end there. one of al qaeda's most notorious acts while it was in power happened on this basketball court. the militants brought a man they accused of spying for the americans, helping them find targets for their drones, and they crucified him on this lamp post. the cross bar they used to do it is still here. they left him hanging for three days and forced children to play below so they would learn a lesson. 21st century crucifixions may have been the last straw. this past may, the government finally acted helped by american advisers. it sent fighter jets and troops to attack the al qaeda stronghold. to take back this town, yemeni forces lost more than 200 men. now they're more or less in control here, but the government's grip remains tenuous and their leaders are
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still routinely targeted for assassination. >> translator: night and day, there is fighting around the clock. >> this farmer says that even after the government's bombing campaign, the terrorists just went underground. they're here right now? >> translator: yes, they're around. they're in the market, they're over there. >> reporter: they're still here? >> yes, they're still here. they're just lying low. >> reporter: how important is it for asyri, for al qaeda to have this state where they can operate with total impunity. >> most certainly it gives them the time and place to plot. >> reporter: senor mudd was the terrorist official for both the cia and the fbi. >> they want to return to the golden age of islamist. it gives them a place to say that's where they can do it, and that place is yemen. >> reporter: how important is it to catch him? >> he's had the will to reach u.s. shores.
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can't get much higher than that. >> reporter: the tough job of finding asyri falls to these men, yemen's commandos. they have trainers here to help and equip them. this is the second of their fire exercises i've attended in the past three years, and they are getting better. but u.s. officials believe the best shot at a series will likely come from above, from american drones hovering in yemeni skies. since 2009, u.s. air strikes have killed several al qaeda leaders, but dozens of civilians have died, too. >> you have a sense of fear, constant sense of fear that is really, really part of everybody's daily life. >> reporter: this is a human rights researcher who has been investigating casualties in the war against al qaeda and photographing the devastation. the american drone program is classified. it's hard for al-wazir to know exactly where they've hit.
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the best testimony is at least 36 air strikes in yemen this year versus all combined. >> most yemenis don't want to stay here. but there is a sense of national anti-americanism that was never there before, and i attribute that directly to these air strikes that have killed civilians. >> reporter: drones have a lot of effect in the united states. it seems like a cheap, effective way to make power in the united states. do you think this will be a problem later for the united states? >> absolutely. people in the united states have no idea what it's done to their name in places like yemen and the anger and frustration and hatred that it's creating on the ground here. >> reporter: and this is the dilemma for the united states and yemen, how to protect americans from the world's most dangerous man without turning more people here against america.
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we asked phillip mudd who helped direct the cia division responsible for drone strikes. >> isn't there a danger with these overhead attacks. critics say every time you drone someone and accidentally kill one of their friends or relatives, you've just created more enemies. >> you've got a fundamental choice here. you're looking at someone and you can't get to him because you know eyes in no-man's land. the choice is binary. shoot to stop the plot or don't choose to stop the plot. and if you don't, you have to take the consequences. a little later in the broadcast, a remarkable new therapy that could change the treatment of chronic pain and the love story that resulted. and next, in the midst of a scandal, a rare window into the lives of this country's top military leaders, from the extraordinary privileges to the pressures that come with the enormous power.
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you're watching "rock center" here in studio 3b. we have to pay some bills. please stay with us through the break, and thanks to many viewers who wanted to watch her pay their bills after they lost their house to the hurricane on staten island. you may recall ann curry reported on phyllis in staten island and shot these photos. viewers have so far pledged more than $40,000 to help the family. information on how to help remains on our website. "rock center" continues after this. [ female announcer ] beef, meet flavor boost.
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♪ last general we elected as
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president, dwight w. eyes hoiis. and the one general kind of a celebrity in public life was david petraeus until the story that broke six days ago. the stories that have come out since have focused a lot of attention on the culture, sometimes the cult of our top generals. tonight andrea mitchell reports on what life is like at the top for those with four stars on their shoulders. >> reporter: there are 38 active duty four-star officers in the military today, 37 men and one woman. the last five-star was omar bradley more than 60 years ago. and because of that, these days the four stars are the biggest stars of the military. >> being a four-star general is as close as people come to being rock stars who also have the ability to wage war. combine jay-z and bill gates and
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give him a lot of lethal fire power. >> reporter: tom rix wrote the book "the generals," a look at the world's military commanders from world war ii until today. >> you start down and a car door opens and you get in it. >> reporter: they are part of a culture of star worship, having to do with the stars on their shoulders and the fact that they are the stars in their own world. some have adoring fans, civilian group group groupies. they are celebrities in their own right. but for all the perks, the glory, the entourage, the job comes with a huge battle of responsibility. >> you're never turned off. you're always there and responding. >> reporter: a heavily decorated combat veteran in vietnam, general mccaffery has two stars
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for heroism. >> the ability to get it done is astonishing. i used to tell the secretary of state that i was better supported as a commander and secretary of state of the united states. >> reporter: it doesn't pay an hourly wage. four stars with 40 years of service gets you a salary of up to $232,000, but most generals make far less. >> it's an odd life because you live like kings but you don't have any money. >> reporter: sally quinn grew up the daughter of buffalo bill quinn, a three-star general. z >> he had his own private train, his own plane, a limo with flags on them, everyone is saluting you, everyone is telling you yes, sir, they get to tell you you're right, and you don't get to tell anyone they're right in the military. >> we have a war that's actually being waged in afghanistan, and
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one of the ways we make ourselves okay with that is to make celebrities out of the men we've asked to lead these wars. >> reporter: from desert storm to afghanistan. the generals who ran the wars, schwartzkopf, powell, allen. >> whether they kept their pants on doesn't make them a bad leader. they all had affairs, yet they kept position because they were great leaders. >> reporter: times have changed, especially for a military man in a civilian job no longer protected by those four stars. it all goes back to the old
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saying, rank has its privileges. and as we learned this week, it also has its pitfalls. >> andrea mitchell here with us. so much to talk about. let's talk about the fraught period of transition, which really is the heart of this. from putting on the same green uniform for decades to a private life, business suits, getting around differently, needing a place to live. >> even knowing what kind of clothes to put on, that's part of what we're hearing is involved in the petraeus transition to being a cia director. he had this whole sector around him and suddenly he didn't. that's when he has acknowledged to friends and others have said that's when this relationship started, that's what the fbi believes. that's a very difficult transition, it's an emotional transition. he had a very big job, which some don't have, but that might be partly what may be at play here. >> what a fascinating life and a fascinating story. andrea mitchell on the four-star
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rock stars in today's military. thanks. >> thank you. up next tonight, a revolutionary new treatment for pain and the remarkable love story that came out of it. that's next. oohooo....hahaahahaha! oh...there you go. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know. you know ronny folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than a witch in a broom factory. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. go now for olive garden's new dinner today, dinner tomorrow. choose one of five entrées tonight for just $12.95. then take home a different entrée free for tomorrow. it's dinner today, just $12.95. dinner tomorrow, free when you go olive garden. [ man ] hello!!!! hello!!!! [ all ] ohh!
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enjoy free shipping and great values . welcome back. this next story is about what some people are capable of overcoming. this is about a radical new therapy that may hold great promise for the tens of millions of americans who suffer chronic pain. and along the way, this story also became about a love story. natalie morales reports on a tragedy that has become a triumph. >> reporter: sam brown lived for challenges. the son of a proud military family, he trained at west point and then trained to be an army ranger. and in 2008, lieutenant sam brown deployed for his first tour of duty in kandahar, afghanistan. that was sam before.
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this is what sam looks like now. on the last day of his mission four years ago, his humvee ran over an ied and explode sbudd i fireball. his body was engulfed in flames. >> reporter: describe those feelings in the moments right after when your body was on fire. >> i literally thought i was going to die, and my instinctive reaction was to throw my arms in the air and call out to god. i remember thinking, i wonder how long it will take me to burn to death. >> reporter: he suffered third-degree burns on 30% of his body. they said he was lucky to be alive, but he was facing a long recovery. >> with a burn injury, that rehabilitative process can go on for weeks or months, sometimes even years. >> he couldn't eat much of anything because his mouth was literally the size of a nickel. >> reporter: amy morrison was the dietitian in the burn unit.
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she marvelled at his drive to get better. >> what i found so interesting about sam was his motivation and his desire to recover in a timely manner. >> reporter: in order to recover, sam endured more than two dozen painful surgeries. but the most excruciating pain came from the daily wound care and the physical therapy that followed. >> that therapy is what would start sending the pain right up to the top of the chart. it would get to the point where it was unbearable and i would have to ask the therapist to stop. >> reporter: sam was deeply concerned about growing dependent on addictive painkiller narcotics. so his doctor suggested something completely unexpected. a video game. >> reporter: when they mentioned this to you, did you think, playing a video game? how is that going to help. >> i was a little skeptical, but honestly, i was willing to try anything. >> reporter: a video game may sound silly, but snowworld is a ground-breaking experiment in
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virtual reality. here sam could concentrate on throwing snowballs at penguins and mastadons listening to paul simon rather than his pain. it's an age-old trick. >> reporter: it's like ripping off a band-aid. basically they don't have time and attention being put in the pain pathway. >> reporter: this alternate world was dreamed up at university of washington by two psychologists, dr. david patterson and dr. hunter hoffman. hoffman had been using virtual reality to help people confront their fears, in this case, spiders. but this time instead of bringing his patients face to face with what they dreaded most, he would do the opposite. he would give them a soothing, icy world to make them forget. >> when you're in snowworld here in kind of white noise, so you're not thinking about the
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outside world, and that means you're also not thinking about your injury. >> reporter: in 2011, the military conducted a small study using snowworld and got stunning results. for soldiers in the worst pain, snowworld worked better than morphine. with thousands of troops having suffered severe burns and trauma from ied blasts, the military is determined to find new ways to treat pain. >> the increase in your ability to survive a severe burn has improved dramatically in the past 20 years. >> reporter: and really, the pain meds haven't really changed all that much. they're still using the opiates that they used back in the 1800s, right? >> yeah, it's interesting, morphine is still the main way to get pain reduced. using something that's not a drug is a paradigm shift. >> reporter: we found it hard to believe that a virtual reality of snowworld could work so well,
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so we asked to try it ourselves. in order to demo snowworld, are you going to put me through a range of pain. >> we'll do something tolerable. >> reporter: they attached something to my foot and made it hotter and hotter. at 116 degrees, it felt like stepping on burning hot pavement for 15 long seconds. >> how much time were you thinking about the pain? >> reporter: for most of the time, i think. >> reporter: then they applied the same amount of heat but this time while i was playing the game. my son would be a genius at this game. ooh, i got him. but before i knew it, they stopped me. >> are we done? is it over? >> how would you rate your pain that time? >> reporter: i think it was actually interesting. putting the headphones on really shut everything out. i wasn't even really aware of anything else going on but the game. just look at the difference it makes in the brain. dr. hoffman showed us scans of
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people in pain with and without this virtual world. >> you can see the brain really lights up in response to pain. during virtual reality, the pain is much reduced. so not only are people telling you that their pain is drastically reduced, but their brain activity tells you the same story. >> reporter: for sam, snowworld was a godsend. for the first time since his accident, he felt relief without drugs. >> reporter: what did it feel like entering that world? >> it just gets you in the mindset of something totally opposite of what you've been experiencing for the last few months. >> reporter: but sam found something even more powerful to heal his pain. he was out of the hospital when his dietitian -- remember amy larson -- would check to see if he was receiving his nutritional supplement. one time when she called, the old sam came through. >> i asked if there was anything else that he needed, and he kind of started to joke around with me a little bit, and he said, well, can you send me some
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donuts, too? and i could tell sam kind of wanted to talk a little bit more. >> reporter: flirting. he was flirting with you. >> yeah. >> reporter: they began dating, but at times sam couldn't believe that what was happening was real. >> reporter: did you think that it was impossible that someone like her would be attracted to you? >> i did. i did. and i had convinced myself that no one would give me any time to even get to know who i was because of the outward scars. >> reporter: that had to be really hard with the inward scars, too. >> yeah. i had a chaplain come talk to me one day, and he could sense the distress. he said, sam, i want you to know that while you're really caught up about your outward scars, you shouldn't be concerned because someone will see beyond those scars, will fall in love with you and you'll have a beautiful family one day. i literally laughed at him, and probably about six months later,
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he was officiating our wedding. >> reporter: sam and amy got married. and three years after the blast, they welcomed a son, roman, into the world. sam lives with very little pain now and he no longer needs the virtual reality of snowworld. >> reporter: this world that you've created is probably the only world you find comfort in now, right? >> the world i have now with amy and roman and, god willing, more children is all i need. >> our thanks to the family, our thanks to natalie morales for her reporting. when we come back, rock bottom. some news that deserves some more attention, including the white house link to doubt nabi. bulova. designed to be noticed.
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i forgot what i was going to say. patrick, i want 100% commitment! because i care man, ok? who are we!? 49ers! 49ers! 49ers! yeah! [ all cheering ] what the heck is going on in here? sorry coach, i just got a little carried away. alright, i think we're good. [ morgan ] for a chance to be in a locker room on game day and more... join visa nfl fan offers and make your season epic. i didn't want to change toothpastes... i already had a product that made my mouth feel clean... the first thing he recommended was sensodyne. it helps with the sensitivity issues and it satisfies the needs that i would look for in a toothpaste. and it satisfies the needs that i would look for we need to leave our contract plan and make the move tom. net10 wireless. what??? oh nice, let's just have our calls drop all the time. net10 uses the same cell towers as the top carriers, but for half of what we pay now. half? don't worry. confusion is normal. but, i... it's better this way. but what if... what if...
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♪ pilot of the air waves, here is my request ♪ victories and losses, the good, the bad, the ugly, and a moment in non-fiction this week that had fans of a certain fictional political cult classic positively swooning. his name was andrew shepard, and
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in michael douglas' capable hands, in the film "the american president," he was the president. >> my name san drew shepard, and i am the president. >> especially to left-leaning aaron sorkin fans who loved shepard because of what he said and how he said it. >> is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, a.j.? >> reporter: and for the fans who have been yearning for years for obama to give his inner shephe shepherd, he did that yesterday. >> if senator mccain and others want to go after someone, they should go after me. >> our friends at pbs said they sent the first episode on dvd, because like most fans, she can't wait. the difference is if you don't live at the white house or don't
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get invited over to watch, you'll just have to. 70% of venice flooded this week, and about 1% of the people there thought that a lifetime of eye infections would be a good idea. we've had way too much water out east the past few weeks or so, and amazing stories are still suffering. like this jacket found busted up in highland' new jersey. west pointers will recognize it as a cadet jacket, this one from the class of 1933. it traveled several miles inland and on up into the bay. it was traced back to chester dagav, chief of staff of the army invasion of southern france, 1944 and a silver star recipient. what's even more amazing is we thought at first it was john stewart. chester's 98-year-old widow said
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she'll be happy to be reunited with her lost memory. ♪ earth angel, earth angel, will you be mine ♪ >> that beautiful sound and that beautiful voice is gone. that's cliff duncan singing "earth angel." it was recorded in a garage in 1954 and has sold 10 million copies. cleve duncan of the penguins was 77. and get ready for one more. ♪ >> that's major harris of the dell, delphonics. "didn't i blow your mind" was a classic of the philharmonics. major harris was 65. campbell's officially marked the end of the world this week by re-marking a soup for the generation, in other words, soup that warms themselves just by thinking about themselves. the first and best soups ever, the only soups like them in the whole world. they're so edgy.
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their website features what looked to me to be a bad word. there's glass frames, overly enthusiastic people, smoked gouda, unpronounceable chicken with pablano chiles. it's all fun-loving. for coach taylor and a good and ro rousing pep talk, the kind we like on "friday night lights." this one is from the rockaways in new york where they took a brutal hit from the storm. talk about kids from broken homes. there was no school, their houses were washed away, their football field was used for lockers. but they somehow made it in for their playoff game and for the coach victor azario, it was all just too much emotionally. >> sandy took a lot.
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it did not take our courage and it did not take our will. >> they lost to their rivals on staten island. but after the game, one of the beach channel players said, now we got to go fix this town up. and given the relentless pace of the news these days, both national disasters and manmade, we always try to end on at least one great dog video if you don't count the puppy named pearl i met and quickly fell hard for this week. there is this gem from poland that debunks the myth that st. bernards are somehow going to rescue us. they're just big furry babies. these loving dog parents couldn't talk their dog into going downstairs, so there was nothing left to do but hang onto dear life. the only threat to safety here was that they were laughing too hard, but the dog was hugging his dad so hard, failure was not an option. maybe just a little bit of dog embarrassment. what a good dog.
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that's our broadcast for tonight. for everyone who worked so hard to bring it to you, thanks for being here with us. we're going to be off next thursday evening for thanksgiving and you should be with your family if you possibly can. i hope you'll join us tomorrow night for ""nbc nightly news."" for now and from all of us here,

Rock Center With Brian Williams
NBC November 15, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

News/Business. Harry Smith, Kate Snow, Ted Koppel. (2012) Searching Yemen for Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a dangerous bomb maker wanted by U.S. officials. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Charlie 12, Yemen 9, United States 9, Us 7, America 6, U.s. 5, Charlie Engle 4, Engle 4, Natalie Morales 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Afghanistan 3, Fbi 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Qaeda 2, Sears 2, Geico 2, Levemir Flexpen 2, Washington 2, The Irs 2, Bradshaw 2
Network NBC
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 88 (609 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 11/16/2012